The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) was established in 2005 by the Council of Australian Governments. It plays a major role in national energy market (NEM) as an advisor to Ministers on energy markets and as a rule maker in energy market development.
• The two important roles that AEMC enacted after its inception in 2005 are rule making and market development in regard to the operation of the electricity wholesale market and transmission regulation in the NEM. In the wake of changes in legislation and in an attempt to address growing market needs, it assumed greater responsibilities and its role expanded to include making rules for economic regulation from electricity distribution network services to gas transmission and distribution services and later it assumed gas retail functions in certain jurisdictions.
• With Western Australia becoming a participating jurisdiction in the National Gas Law in 2010, AEMC assumed added responsibility of making rules in relation to elements of the natural gas market in Western Australia such as the economic regulation of natural gas pipeline services.
• The nation’s energy markets are undergoing a rapid change driven by a combination of economic factors and policy initiatives. This is expected to result in changes to the sources of electrical energy and a heightened role for, and commitment to, energy efficiency and demand side contributions. The AEMC assumes a key role in making rules and providing advice to support the delivery of such market development at an efficient cost to consumers.
• The AEMC is a member of ICER, an international body representing over 200 regulatory authorities across six continents. ICER provides a framework for cooperation between energy regulators around the world on global issues affecting energy markets.
As the rule maker and developer for Australian energy markets and as a member of ICER, AEMC can make and amend the detailed rules. And, so as to further support the development of these markets, strategic and operational advice is offered in the following sectors:
• Electricity Market
The organisation works on promoting efficient investment, operation and use of, electricity services with respect to–price, reliability, quality, safety and security of electricity supply as well as reliability of the national electricity system.
• Gas Market
The objective is to create efficient investment in use of natural gas services with respect to price, reliability, quality, safety and security of supply of natural gas.
AEMC envisions being an essential source of market development advice and be regarded as an excellent rule maker. It is of the view that effective competition at wholesale and retail levels along with a balanced regulation for transmission and distribution can deliver efficient, reliable and safe energy for electricity and gas consumers.
• As a national independent body, AEMC performs its functions in a way that demonstrates integrity. It delivers high quality and impartial energy market rules and advice to policy makers, and uses an evidence-based approach while remaining fully engaged with its stakeholders.
• It works seamlessly with government in ensuring that the national gas and electricity markets continue to operate in the interests of consumers. It does so by providing information and advice that helps government evaluate various options and implement them in a manner that retains the effectiveness of the markets.
• Acting with integrity has always been the underlying principle of AEMC activities. It does so by encouraging open and frank dialogue which has also contributed for its independent thinking and objectivity.
AEMC believes that it can meet its strategic objectives by maintaining an effective and open communication with its stakeholders and having professional business management systems. This engagement with stakeholders helps it to develop a good understanding of what is happening in the real world, with regard to energy business, large and small consumer requirements and government. This aids AEMC to help policy makers understand the complications and consequences of different options and provide information and advice that enable governments to achieve their objectives in a manner that retains the effectiveness of the markets.
AEMC ensures its sustainability by carrying on its duties diligently and aiming for the following:
• Drive the development of efficient market frameworks by delivering well on routine work and proactively providing advice to policy makers
• Contribute to energy market policy development as the leading source of advice on energy markets
• Provide world-leading advice through the partnerships it develops.
• Address the increasing demands for rule making, reviews and advice by ensuring it has the capacity to deliver.